From the moment she stepped on the Baylor campus, Lindsey Cargill showed she could handle any kind of pitching and play nearly any position on the field.

She’s raised the bar higher than anyone could have expected as a senior this year.

Cargill got off to a hot start and never slowed down. Through the regular season, the senior third baseman led the Big 12 with a .459 batting average and 32 stolen bases, and has been the most consistent force in a powerful Baylor offensive attack.

Cargill is the Tribune-Herald Big 12 softball player of the year, beating out other strong candidates like Oklahoma’s Shay Knighten and Nicole Mendes.

Oklahoma won the other three major awards as Paige Parker is pitcher of the year, Mendes newcomer of the year and Patty Gasso coach of the year after leading the Sooners to a 17-1 record and winning the Big 12 by four games over Baylor.

“Lindsey not only has been consistent, she just seems to raise her level of play every time we need her to,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “She’s played hard throughout her whole career and at a high level, but this year has been outstanding. It’s justifying the awards she’s going to receive.”

Cargill has raised her batting average every season at Baylor, going from .285 as a freshman to .355 as a sophomore to .360 as a junior. But the former Robinson High School star has outdone herself this season, ranking fifth nationally with her .459 batting average.

During Big 12 regular season games, Cargill hit a league-high .482 with 12 stolen bases in 18 games.

“This year she’s done what’s natural for her and that’s the power slap,” Moore said. “That along with laying down the bunt and being a triple threat type of offensive player, she has really put the defense on their heels. She’s just been phenomenal.”

Cargill also played third base for the first time this season after playing a myriad of other positions throughout her Baylor career including all outfield spots, catcher, shortstop and second base. The only positions she hasn’t played at Baylor are first base and pitcher.

“She’s a kid made for the action, and she’s had to sit out there (in the outfield) way away from people for three years,” Moore said. “Asking her to come in and play third base is a difficult position to play. Typically you have to work kids over and over to get them to take the bunt away in the face of the batters because it is a little bit dangerous. But I had to back her down a little bit. She just loves to be in the action.”

+3 
WCWS Auburn Oklahoma Softball

Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker piled up 18 wins with only five losses, striking out 191 batters in 147.2 innings.

Since coming into the Big 12 in 2015, Parker has been the best pitcher in the league as she went 28-7 with a 1.65 ERA as a freshman and 38-3 with a 1.64 ERA last year for Oklahoma’s national championship team.

This year she hasn’t had to carry as much of the load as junior Paige Lowary has gone 13-2 and freshman Mariah Lopez 15-1.

But Parker is still the ace of a great staff and the pitcher the Sooners count on to win the biggest games. Parker has gone 18-5 with a 1.47 ERA while collecting 191 strikeouts in 147⅔ innings.

During Big 12 regular season play, Parker went 8-0 with an 0.86 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 49 innings.

“It’s a tale of two different years,” Gasso said. “Last year she was struggling with the work load she had. What I like this year is she’s fresh and ready and has pitched well in the middle and late in the season. Our pitching depth has given her more of a breath this season.”

Gasso brings in a tremendous set of freshmen every year, and Mendes has been the best throughout this season. The outfielder leads the Sooners with a .432 batting average with three homers and 18 RBIs and is also a threat on the base baths with 18 stolen bases.

During Big 12 play, she hit .444 and consistently sparked the Sooners’ offense.

“Nicole has been our leadoff hitter and came in real nervous like a lot of freshmen do,” Gasso said. “She decided that doesn’t help and it’s not really a way to showcase herself. So she did a really good job of saying she’s not going to live in that stressful world and started playing. Her world changed and she changed.”

Gasso likes the versatility Mendes brings to the plate.

“The nice thing about Nicole is she can be versatile, and hit for power, bunt and slap,” Gasso said. “She’s got a lot of weapons. You don’t know what to expect from freshmen because they take things and let the game get too big. But we’ve been pleasantly surprised with Nicole. We know how athletic she is, and we’ve very much needed her athleticism to find its way into the lineup.”

TRIBUNE-HERALD ALL-BIG 12 SOFTBALL TEAM

FIRST TEAM

Hitters

Pos Player School Cl Avg. HR RBI Notable

1B Shay Knighten Oklahoma So .364 9 55 8 homers in Big 12

2B Caleigh Clifton Oklahoma So .371 5 27 .543 on-base pct.

SS Devon Tunning Texas Sr .341 5 23 13 doubles

3B Lindsey Cargill Baylor Sr .459 0 13 Big 12-high 32 steals

C Taylor Ellsworth Texas Fr .434 3 23 .450 on-base pct.

OF Kyla Walker Baylor So .409 0 19 39 runs

OF Nicole Mendes Oklahoma Fr .432 4 19 18 stolen bases

OF Vanessa Shippy OSU Jr .404 5 44 .512 on-base pct.

DP Fale Aviu Oklahoma So .358 4 42 17 doubles

Util Sydney Romero Oklahoma So .348 8 46 49 runs

Pitchers

Player School Cl W-L ERA IP SO Notable

Paige Parker Oklahoma Jr 18-5 1.47 147.2 191 Big 12-best ERA

Kelsee Selman Baylor Sr 21-7 1.54 182 169 League-high 5 saves

Paige Lowary Oklahoma Jr 13-2 1.85 105.2 92 League-high 5 saves

Player of the year: Lindsey Cargill, Baylor

Pitcher of the year: Paige Parker, Oklahoma

Newcomer of the year: Nicole Mendes, Oklahoma

Coach of the year: Patty Gasso, Oklahoma

SECOND TEAM

Hitters

Pos Player School Cl Avg. HR RBI Notable

1B Shelby Friudenberg Baylor Jr .342 7 41 25 walks

2B Sami Williams Iowa St. Fr .366 8 31 League-high 19 doubles

SS Randee O’Donnell OSU Jr .252 3 21 .348 on-base pct.

3B Rylee Bayless OSU Jr .324 7 36 Nation’s best 62 walks

C Harli Ridling Kansas Jr .326 11 37 .604 slugging pct.

OF Nicole Pendley Oklahoma Jr .306 12 48 .566 slugging pct.

OF Maddison Kettler Baylor Fr .353 1 19 10 stolen bases

OF Jessie Scroggins Baylor Jr .357 3 20 15 stolen bases

DP Raina O’Neal Texas Tech Fr .255 12 32 22 extra base hits

Util Ari Hawkins Baylor Sr .324 4 28 12 stolen bases

Pitchers

Player School Cl W-L ERA IP SO Notable

Brandi Needham OSU Sr 18-8 2.69 148.1 71 12 complete games

Gia Rodoni Baylor So 14-2 1.89 114 120 26 walks

Mariah Lopez Oklahoma Fr 15-1 1.85 87 94 16 walks

Statistics through regular season

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